Mercedes-Benz launches an A-Class with EQ power: The A 250 E plug-in hybrid arrives in Australia
In an important milestone on the road to zero-emissions driving, Mercedes-Benz has added EQ Power to its compact vehicle range with the introduction of the A 250 e hatch and sedan, featuring plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology allowing them to travel up to 73 kilometres (ADR) in all-electric mode. The release of the newest A-Class variant marks the first time rapid DC charging is available for a Mercedes-Benz PHEV passenger vehicle.
Available to the A-Class hatch and sedan exclusively in the popular A 250 specification, EQ Power creates a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario, with the A 250 e able to complete journeys around town of up to 73 km in all-electric mode solely using the cleverly packaged electric motor (75 kW / 300 Nm) and on-board battery (15.6 kWh capacity), which can also recoup additional energy during braking. For city and urban motorists, this raises the tantalising prospect of largely emission-free motoring on a daily basis. Meanwhile, a highly efficient 1.3-litre, four-cylinder combustion engine (118 kW / 250 Nm) comes into its own to complete longer road trips.
Combined, the output of the hybrid powertrain is a healthy 160 kW and 450 Nm. Switching seamlessly between EV and ICE methods creates exceptional fuel economy opportunities in the order of 1.6L per 100km (ADR combined cycle), with tailpipe emissions measured at 34 grams/km CO2.
From the beginning, the architecture of the ground-breaking Mercedes-Benz A-Class was engineered to accommodate a PHEV drivetrain. The result is clever integral packaging with minimal practical compromise. The water-cooled lithium-ion, high voltage battery weighs just 150 kilograms and requires only a small reduction to overall boot space – 310 litres (hatch) or 355 litres (sedan).
This is assisted by the installation of a 35-litre fuel tank, plus an innovative exhaust system with a rear muffler housed in the transmission tunnel and a centrally positioned exhaust outlet under the floor.
For the first time on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the combustion engine is started by the electric motor – the A 250 e does not have a separate 12-volt starter.
The A 250 e models are equipped with a standard Type 2 plug, and are capable of delivering charge via AC power at a rate of up to 3.7 kW. To maximise the speed of charging at home or work, customers can choose a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home ($1250 MRLP). This can be installed on regular single-phase power (by a qualified electrician) to deliver up to 7.4 kW, or up to 22 kW on three-phase power for further future-proofing.
Optionally, customers can purchase a DC Charging Package ($1490 MRLP), marking the first time this feature has been made available on a Mercedes-Benz PHEV passenger vehicle.
This introduces fast DC charging at 24 kW via a Type 2 CCS plug. Using DC charging, it may be possible to charge from 10 per cent capacity to 80 per cent in as little as 25 minutes. In addition, the Charging Package upgrades the AC charging system to 7.4 kW.
Geared for efficiency – and fun
The A 250 e drives power to the front wheels via an 8G-DCT Hybrid eight-speed auto, becoming the second model in the A-Class range to receive an eight-speed transmission (in addition to the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S, with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8-Speed). The combination adds up to highly efficient motoring designed to maximise the all-electric range.
However, the impressive combined output of the electric and petrol-powered motors, together with standard switchable driving modes, ensures the A 250 e hatch and sedan also can live up to the promise of the sporty look and sophisticated feel shared by the entire Mercedes-Benz A-Class range. Acceleration to 100km/h from rest takes 6.6 seconds for the A 250 e hatch, and 6.7 seconds for the sedan.
Drive programs ‘Electric’ and ‘Battery Level’ are available. Maximum e-performance can be experienced in Electric. When selected, the combustion engine is only engaged if the driver extends the accelerator beyond the ‘kickdown’ point. In the Electric program the braking recuperation strength can be selected via paddles behind the steering wheel.
Comfort, ECO and Sport modes are also available. The driver is thus able to give priority to electric driving, place the emphasis on driving dynamics in combined drive mode, or give preference to combustion mode in order to save electric range, for example.
In hatch or sedan body shape, the Mercedes-Benz A 250 e is both comprehensively equipped and well specified with standard safety features.
Both variants feature 18-inch Aero alloy wheels, the intuitive MBUX infotainment system with voice control and a fully digital widescreen cockpit, NTG6 navigation, ARTICO upholstery, smartphone integration including wireless charging and LED headlights.
A key comfort feature is pre-entry climate control before the vehicle is started, as the A 250 e has an electric refrigerant compressor. This can be controlled via the Mercedes me Connect suite of services from a connected smart phone, which also includes remote vehicle status monitoring.
Standard safety equipment includes Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, nine airbags, PRE-SAFE® accident anticipation system, and Adaptive High Beam Assist.
The Mercedes-Benz A 250 e hatch and sedan are on sale now with the following pricing:
Mercedes-Benz A 250 e hatch $63,400 (MRLP)
Mercedes-Benz A 250 e sedan $66,000 (MRLP)